Danni Wyatt fires England to victory in opening T20 against West Indies

Danni Wyatt heaped praise on the team’s bowlers after England continued their stellar campaign in the Caribbean, defeating West Indies by eight wickets in the opening Twenty20 international on Sunday.

West Indies struggled to 105 for seven at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua, with the tourists winning in the 13th over for the loss of two wickets.

Sophia Dunkley and Lauren Winfield-Hill were run out for 25 and 15 respectively, while Wyatt hit seven boundaries and two sixes en route to an unbeaten 59.

“Lauren Bell and Katherine Brunt really set the tone with the ball,” Wyatt said. “The girls bowled exceptionally well under the lights. We spoke about playing with intent, being brave and entertaining and that’s what we did with the bat as well.”

England, who secured a clean sweep in the three-match one-day international series, won the toss and elected to field. Bell claimed her first T20 international wicket when she bowled Aaliyah Alleyne for two in the second over. Bell then caught Kycia Knight off Natalie Sciver for a two-ball duck before Hayley Matthews was bowled by Katherine Brunt as she attempted a reverse sweep to leave the West Indies at 19 for three.

Djenaba Joseph – making her senior team debut after promotion from the under-19 squad – was stumped by Amy Jones and Rashada Williams’s rapid knock of 23 from 26 balls was ended when she was run out by Wyatt. Bell claimed another wicket with her next delivery as Shemaine Campbelle was caught by Winfield‑Hill, the hosts reduced to 60 for six in the 13th over.

Shabika Gajnabi became Bell’s third victim when she was caught by Sciver. Chinelle Henry’s quickfire unbeaten 21 helped West Indies to reach 105.

Wyatt said: “We’ve loved our time here in Antigua. Being on the same pitch for all four games made it a little difficult to bat on out there but we found a way.

“It’s all about picking the bowlers you want to take down and just having good intent as well as backing yourself and that’s what we did tonight.”

The second T20 match is on Wednesday at Kensington Oval in Barbados.